Modern Architecture

There are many elements that we contend with every day such as form, culture, society, time, and technology, just to name a few.  Regardless of what we do from day to day, these are the elements that we are dealing with, and they are a driving force for modern architecture.  The future of architecture is no doubt going to be a philosophical approach to the situations that are presented to use rather than a materialistic approach that was more common in the past.

The use of modern technology ranging from audio and video realm in architecture will allow for us to expose many things in architecture that have never been seen before.  Social and cultural norms will influence and exploit the use of technology.  Two architects who are taking the reigns with this style of architecture are Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio. Their philosophy of combining time, technology, form, culture, and society has just recently been discovered and their work is being published widely now and may very well be how modern architecture will be defined in the future.

Born in 1951, Elizabeth Driller came to America from Poland after she graduated from high school.  She came to America to attend the Cooper Union School of Architecture where she would study from 1974 until 1979.  Driller would work as an assistant professor at the school after graduation from 1981 until 1990.  In fact, she has not strayed from this career choice, as she is currently working as an assistant professor at Princeton University.

Ricardo Scofidio was born in New York in 1935and studied at the Cooper Union School of Architecture from 1952 to 1955. He then transferred to Columbia University, from which he would graduate in 1960. Ricardo Scofidio is currently a professor at Cooper Union, a position he has held since 1965. Diller and Scofidio met at Cooper Union in 1979 and would come together to create their own architectural firm.

Diller and Scofidio are known to think outside the box and stay clear from traditional architecture. Diller and Scofidio are developing the “creation of an alternative form of architectural practice that unites design, performance, and electronic media with cultural and architectural theory and criticism”. They do this by challenging and exposing cultural and societal norms. They explore relationships between people and architecture and how architecture drives people through certain spaces.  This is a far cry from the use of materials to inspire architecture, which is why their designs stand out from the crowd.

Early on, Diller and Scofidio were excited to take on different works than one would have expected.  Instead of creating architectural works or designs for buildings in whole, they decided to work on smaller, but still important projects, such as sets for plays and exhibition areas that were in existing buildings.  The duo first took on a project that was called A Delay in Glass.  This project involved using a large mirror that would reflect the images of the people who were behind a screen.  The two delighted in these smaller projects because they were unique, fun, and would definitely lead to bigger and better projects.  Later on, Diller and Scofidio would take on larger projects, which were secured from the smaller projects that they started with.